Weather-related news and notes:
The City of Houston has issued a peak alert until 10 a.m. Thursday to encourage reducing electrical consumption. The request came from Sho-Me Power Corp., the city’s electrical wholesaler.
MoDOT says U.S. 60 from Webster County line to Texas County line is partly covered.
I-44 opens from Springfield to Exit 11 at Joplin
Central Missouri is getting slammed by the storm. I-70 is closed through Boone, Cooper and Callaway counties. MU is closed for the second consecutive day tomorrow. I-44 through Oklahoma is closed.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Lebanon to assist stranded motorists.
Missouri’s electric cooperatives are not currently experiencing any significant outages as the storm moves through the state, an official said Tuesday afternoon. The National Weather Service says the ice accumulation for this region has been downgrounded. But upcoming high winds are a concern for cooperatives.
From MoDOT’s South Central Region this morning: We’ve got 150 trucks, 21,000 tons of salt and 300+ employees working on the roads…but it’s still getting very dangerous out there.
A Houston officer at about 7 a.m. told dispatchers that road conditions were ‘rapidly deteriorating’ as sleet fell on the area.
Intercounty Electric says at accumulations of more than a quarter inch, the heavy weight can snap power lines, cause trees to fall into lines or break utility poles. Amazing facts: A half-inch accumulation on power lines can add 500 pounds of extra weight. Ice can also increase the weight of tree branches by 30 times.
This might be a first: In preparation for the Snopacolypse, the official state government Twitter site (@MoGov) has a storm hashtag: #MoSnow
Houston City Administrator Larry Sutton said that the Houston Storm Shelter will be used as a “warming center” if electricity is lost.
Storm will impact state parks around Missouri. Many facilities and parks will be closed or have limited access.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon addressed details for the anticipated severe weather at the state capitol this afternoon. He was joined by leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri National Guard. Audio from the governor’s press conference is posted with a story elsewhere on the website.
Intercounty Electric sent information regarding its preparations for the storm. If outages do occur, Intercounty Electric will keep local media updated as information becomes available. Residents may also visit the website of the cooperative’s statewide association — www.amec.org — for storm or outage updates.
Persons who experience an outage, can call its toll-free number — 866-621-3679 — with a map-location number. “We appreciate your patience as our lines may be busy during times of electrical outages. We will have employees available 24 hours to take outage calls,” it said in a statement.
Grocers reported brisk business Monday. A photographer returned to report that milk was a hot item.